Feeds

HP reinvents intranets as cloudy managed services

Yet another response to CIOs with iPads and workers who want Dropbox

High performance access to file storage

HP has cooked up a product it calls “Next Generation Information Worker” (NGIW) that aims to pick up where intranets left off and deliver an environment that doesn't leave the rising generation of iPad-and-smartmobe-wielding office drones screaming for the apps they use at home.

HP's Australian outpost “co-developed” the product with 13 local government agencies, including Australia's Department of Defence. The local outfit will now go on tour to help other HP offices start selling the service.

The thinking behind NGIW is to help enterprise and government clients that operate bureaucratic process do so more efficiently. There's a recognition that some of those processes can't be entirely automated and therefore require human intervention at various points, but that humans are made to jump through hoops to make those interventions. That circus act makes those business processes inelegant and costly, which no-one wants, especially those fond of web-greased interactions that make stakeholders smile.

One doesn't actually buy NGIW to achieve that outcome. Instead, one asks HP to fire up a records management, document management or collaboration service and do some integration. That effort will identify and link existing information sources and pipe them out in ways that enable workers to get stuff done without the complication of logging on to multiple applications or ferreting about looking for data to get stuff done.

End-users get to work in a user interface that was probably called a “dashboard” last week and which has adopted all the design language of Windows 8's UI, aka The Interface Formerly Known as Metro (TIFKAM). A knowledge worker whose job requires them to review and approve documents would therefore gain their own dynamically-numbered “tile” indicating how many tasks lie ahead of them. Clicking on the tile takes the user to either the relevant app, or to other NGIW screens that scrape other apps into its interface, so the job can be done. Along the way users can create their own profiles, even linking in their LinkedIn or other social services to give the suite the required dose of modernity.

HP will gladly host the plumbing and any new repository of data it creates in its own cloud, and serve the TIFKAM-esque web UI from there too. That arrangement's pitched as a risk-reducer, as HP's assessment of its potential client base for NGIW (enterprises and government) suggests they're strapped for cash, terrified of fluffing a project and desperate to show return on investment for anything they attempt.

NGIW doesn't require any particular backend apps to be present, but Debra Bordignon, HP's chief technologist and innovation leader in the office of the CTO for the company's Asia-Pacific and Japan enterprise services group (and yes, that's all on her business card) said SharePoint users are firmly in the company's sites as many “had a red hot go at SharePoint and tens of millions later” haven't reached their goals.

HP's also built links between NGIW and its own TRIM document management tool and says it will do likewise for third-party document management tools.

HP's Next Generation Information Worker suite

HP says a TIFKAM-like interface is what the "co-developers"
of the Next Generation Information Worker tool want

Bordignon and Alan Bennett, HP's veep for enterprise services in the south pacific, both made much of NGIW's ability to satisfy senior execs who have become fond of their iPads and want the organisations they tend to have stuff that behaves like Jobs-spawned fondleslabs. Satisfaction for wage slaves accustomed to doing things the Facebook or Dropbox way is also guaranteed.

NGIW therefore presses a lot of hot buttons: it's social, offers a “flat” interface, does the kind of integration and turning-disparate-apps-into-logical-tools tricks that are seldom unpopular, throws in the “we've built most of the IP already so we're not learning on you” risk-reducer and even does the whole elastic/cloud/managed services thing offer a modern method to procure the service.

At it's core, however, NGIW is a modern intranet. Bordignon tried to avoid the word and declared that past generations of intranets hadn't delivered on their promise, or kept pace with what enterprises wanted from their captive webified apps. Bordignon also admitted that NGIW doesn't offer unique functionality, but feels it is the first product of its type to integrate them and therefore offers a faster route to a useful tool. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.